In 2005 Maggie had been my constant companion for eight years. She was a Catahoula Leopard Dog who came into my life via a neighbour who rescued her as a tiny pup from a small enclosure at a northern Ontario gas station. They had me in mind for this little waif and they were right. It was love at first sight. Fast forward eight years and a move from Toronto to the tiny hamlet of Gore’s Landing…I was working at Hospice Northumberland and the day of Hospice’s 2005 AGM was Maggie’s last day in this realm. I won’t go into details. I was devastated. I would never become attached to another dog — never, ever!
Enter Jack. In January, only seven months later, on a complete whim one lunch hour, I dropped into one of the local animal shelters. I wandered past the cages trying to give the poor creatures a little comfort just by acknowledging their existence. I noticed the hound and for some reason (no one knew this stray dog’s name) said, “Hi there, Jack” and continued on. I knew I wasn’t ready for another dog.
As I was opening the door to leave the pound, there was a blood-curdling howl. Naturally, I turned around and headed straight back for the cage that housed the hound. There he was, with eyes that said how could I leave without him! You can see where this story is going, right? He officially became Jack the Wonder Dog the second he called out to me.
Jack celebrated his 10th Birthday on January 29, 2011. Jack never, ever barks — okay, he did once when a cat was caught under the back porch, but that’s the only time in five years! He makes up for it by baying, very loudly, almost every time he hears music. Originally, he ‘sang’ only occasionally, but now he sings every day! Jack loves people, big or small, and he’s very curious about other dogs. He pulls me toward any dog until he meets them, then he usually walks away totally disinterested. It became obvious early on that he hadn’t been socialized as a pup. It’s very sad, really. He doesn’t have a clue how to play with dog toys, or run after a ball, or any of the usual dog things. I can sometimes get him excited enough to play tag out back, but that’s about it!
On our walks, Jack smells every blade of grass, up and down, over and over, or every snow bank. Even a short walk is usually a time-consuming affair. Jack can read my mind. And he’s a very well-behaved visitor after he’s had an initial nose-tour around a house. And he’s the most insistent and wonderful lap dog, with the softest ears imaginable!
Jack is the bestest friend ever!
Addition: my very first hooked rug.
Addendum, September 13, 2014: Jack is now in his final resting place behind the summer house. I miss him terribly, every minute of every day. Good-bye, my sweet, gentle boy.